Lectionary Preview: Pentecost 2 (study on 2 June)

Lectionary Preview: Pentecost 2 (study on 2 June)

Lectionary Preview study materials:  Pentecost 2

(study on 2 June)

1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15)
Psalm 138
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-35

The Collect

O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament

1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15)

All the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; [and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers.] He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, “No! but we are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

[Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.” So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. There they sacrificed offerings of well-being before the Lord, and there Saul and all the Israelites rejoiced greatly.]

The Psalm

Psalm 138

Confitebor tibi

1 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; *
before the gods I will sing your praise.

2 I will bow down toward your holy temple
and praise your Name, *
because of your love and faithfulness;

3 For you have glorified your Name *
and your word above all things.

4 When I called, you answered me; *
you increased my strength within me.

5 All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Lord, *
when they have heard the words of your mouth.

6 They will sing of the ways of the Lord, *
that great is the glory of the Lord.

7 Though the Lord be high, he cares for the lowly; *
he perceives the haughty from afar.

8 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe; *
you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies;
your right hand shall save me.

9 The Lord will make good his purpose for me; *
O Lord, your love endures for ever;
do not abandon the works of your hands.

The Psalm

Psalm 130

De profundis

1 Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice; *
let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

2 If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss, *
O Lord, who could stand?

3 For there is forgiveness with you; *
therefore you shall be feared.

4 I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; *
in his word is my hope.

5 My soul waits for the Lord,
more than watchmen for the morning, *
more than watchmen for the morning.

6 O Israel, wait for the Lord, *
for with the Lord there is mercy;

7 With him there is plenteous redemption, *
and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

The Epistle

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke” —we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

The Gospel

Mark 3:20-35

The crowd came together again, so that Jesus and his disciples could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

ECUSA   Pentecost 2                                 June 6, 2021                                                  Joseph Cundiff


RCL: 1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15); Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35


1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15)

The people are clamoring, demanding a king. They have been burnt by the rule of judges; Joel and Abijah, Samuel’s sons, are corrupt and have accepted bribes.


The Israelites want to “keep up with the Joneses.”  They see all the nations around them with kings, so why can’t they have a king, too?  Everyone else is doing it!


The rule of a king or judge may not be inherently bad, but the rejection of God’s authority and providence displeases God. Samuel prophesies, warning the people that God will not listen to them on the day when they realize they made a mistake and cry to God.


  • Think of times of transition when you had to discern God’s will.
  • How are you affected by the lives of those around you?

Psalm 138

In today’s psalm, there are multiple echoes of Biblical themes and language found in some of the most well-known passages of the Bible. Verse 7 echoes in part the Magnificat: God cares for the lowly. Verse 8 sounds a lot like part of Psalm 23: God keeps us safe, even though we walk through darkness.  Verse 9 follows the repeated refrain of Psalm 136: God’s love endures forever.  Yet, this all comes after David’s personal praise of God.  He moves from personal praise to universal praise.


  • Can you think of a time when your personal thanksgiving and praise moved you to a deeper or higher moment of universal praise of God?

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

“Our inner nature is being renewed day by day,” Paul says.  Renewal takes many different shapes and forms.  Renewal can come with expectation or it can take us by surprise.  Sometimes, we experience renewal with fanfare and fireworks; sometimes, we only see renewal in the rear-view mirror.


Paul, in his letter to the Romans, also says that inner renewal is what helps us discern the will of God, what is good and perfect and acceptable. We may switch up our surroundings or alter our outward appearances, but those changes are not actually renewal and do not help us discern the will of God.


  • On a day-to-day basis, how do you experience renewal?
  • Think of a time when renewal of your inner nature has led you to discernment of God’s will in your life.

Mark 3:20-35

In this passage from Mark, Jesus continues his challenges against the scribes, some of the religious leaders of the day.  He tells the crowd that those who do the will of God are his brothers and sisters and mothers, creating a new kind of community of God, one that resembles the close-knit relationships of siblings and parents, closer than mere friends or neighbors or colleagues.


What follows in Mark are several parables about the Kingdom of God.  The parables are difficult for many to understand, but Jesus assures his disciples that he has revealed to them secrets of the Kingdom of God.  However, Jesus did not reveal the mystery of the Kingdom of God to only the apostles; immediately prior to today’s passage, Jesus called his disciples with the express intention of proclaiming the message.


  • What brothers, sisters, siblings, mothers do you see around you doing the will of God?
  • How can you help build this new kind of community?


This Bible study was written by Joseph Cundiff, a seminarian at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.